Celtic have been relatively busy in the transfer market this month by bringing four new players to the club, but a recent report suggests they were priced out of a deal for a more experienced figurehead.
Brendan Rodgers has clearly placed plenty of emphasis on bringing young players into the club this month, with all four of his new signings aged between 18 and 21.
Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke, aged 18 and 21 respectively, are two talents who have been predicted to enjoy a big future in the game, but Celtic were targeting a talent who is eager to impress for a different reason entirely.
Indeed, according to a report from the Irish Independent, Crystal Palace are set to sign Everton’s James McCarthy on loan before Thursday’s deadline after Celtic dropped out of the race for his signature.
McCarthy supported Celtic as a boy and would naturally have been enticed by the prospect of playing at Celtic Park, but the report claims that the Bhoys were priced out of a deal due to his £50,000 per week wages.
For a fanbase who are hoping their club can make the next step by competing on the European stage, the fact Celtic were priced out of a deal for McCarthy will be both concerning and frustrating.
Naturally, the January window is a time in which finances are not clear cut and plenty of clubs struggle to sign new players with wage structures already maximised and little room for further investment, but the McCarthy situation serves as an acute reminder of how financially limited Celtic are in comparison with the clubs they are often pitted against in the Champions League.
McCarthy has spent a lengthy spell on the sideline following a gruesome leg break, but the form he has showcased down the years suggests he would have been an excellent addition to the squad and he will be desperate for a return to regular football as soon as possible.
The Ireland international’s approach is epitomised by his high-energy in the centre of the park, relentlessly harrying opponents and demanding the ball into his feet when his side are in possession.
His impact at Celtic Park would have given the club a valuable asset in their bid to cement their supremacy at the summit of Scottish football, and he’s a player Rodgers should return for in the summer if and when the club’s financial situation changes.
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